Second hand wears are called okrika in Nigeria. These may include; shirts, trouser, pants, bags, blouses, gowns, belts, shoes, bra etc. There is okrika for adults and babies even though some people claim that selling babies clothing is more lucrative than adult wears, but I think they have equal chances making more profits, depending on how much effort, creativity and marketing you put into it.
Okrika business is very lucrative due to the following reasons:
- High rate of demand: Like the old saying goes, “the cheaper the product, the higher the demand”. Many people love okrika, because it is cheap and affordable, creating more market and profit for the owner.
- Everyone wants to look good and put on good clothing: Okrika have given many people the opportunity to wear high-class designer clothes at a cheap rate, the more reason okrika business is profitable.
- Most people believe that fairly used clothes imported from the UK or US are more durable than the new ones, because most new clothes are produced with inferior materials unlike the new ones imported from Asia made with inferior materials. This belief in Nigeria has helped to create good market for fairly used clothing.
- Starting okrika business can be done with very little capital and no special skill is required. This is one of the easiest and low capital business to do in Nigeria.
What you need to start your okrika business
Before starting, it is advisable to first conduct a feasibility study to check how well the business will work in your area and if possible, draft out a business plan. This shows you are serious and ready for business. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of skipping this stage and when the business fails, they blame other things for their failure. However, when you do your feasibility study, you are more likely to succeed because you would be more prepared and ready to make it a success.
There are some more things you need to take into consideration before investing your hard-earned cash into okrika business. These include:
1. Get a good business location –This is a very important aspect to consider before starting your okrika business. If you get this aspect wrong, the business is very likely to fail. First of all, you have to decide how you are starting the business, if you do not have enough money to get a shop, you can start small and begin from your home. Several people who do this business buy at retail quantities and sell to consumers. You can begin by selling from your neighbourhood.
Locating your okirika business where there is good pedestrian traffic is good. Also when deciding the class and type of okirika wears to sell, you should consider the type of people living or plying the area where your shop would be located. Poor neighbourhood would most likely buy second or third grade okirika clothing unlike richer neighbourhood that would rather go for first class and quality fairly used clothing.
2. Get the needed capital- Before starting this business, you need to have already set money aside and the amount of money you have will determine if the business will be on a small or large-scale. Since okrika is a low capital business, you can start with any amount and still make huge profits and grow the business to a mega business venture. See how to raise capital for business.
3. Decide on what type of wears you want to sell – Several options are available when considering the aspect of okriki business you want to go into. You may choose to focus on selling designer wears or local fabrics or it could be children’s wear or any other aspect. Once this is done you now have a template to work with. Deciding on the aspect of the okrika business you want to go into is vital as it would affect how you start in terms of the amount of money you will need to spend when starting as well as where your business will be located.
4. Look for a supplier – It is very important to have a good and reliable supplier in this okrika business. It may be someone who travels abroad to buy them or someone who orders for them in large quantities or you may even order for them yourself by visiting e-commerce websites like eBay, Alibaba etc or buy from Katangua market in Lagos, Lagos island or directly from Cotonou, Benin Republic.
5. Learn to package the goods in a presentable and attractive way –After getting your okrika wears, the next thing is how to package it. Packaging always brings in extra cash. You can wash, iron and neatly fold, starch and apply good scent to your okrika wears. You can even place them on mannequins to look more presentable. Take your packaging seriously so the customers don’t underprice your products .
6. Make room for expansion –When you start your okrikia business, don’t forget to make room for growth and expansion. It may not be a very easy and smooth journey, but when you are growing and employing more staff then you are becoming a better entrepreneur.
One unique aspect of okrika business is that the fashion world is dynamic and ever-changing and bringing out a lot of new styles and designs, which makes this business a bit delicate, because if you to are not current in fashion trends, it can make you lag behind and lose customers when you can’t satisfy their demands. It is therefore important to learn and be updated with the latest fashion trends as this will always keep your sales high, especially when customers know they can always get the best from you.
How To Market Your Okrika Wears
You can promote your okrika business in the following ways:
- Use verbal marketing: You can tell your neighbours, friends about your business and products and invite them over to your shop to make their purchase.
- Use social media marketing: You can use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, WhatsApp etc to sell the wares and invite your friends to like your page. You can also use paid boosting of your page to reach more people. You may also choose to create your own e-commerce website for your business.
- Try using online forums to advertise your wears: You can create a thread on Nairaland or any other forum for your business. You may also advertise your products in such websites as jiji.com, olx.com.ng and ady.ng.
- Consider hawking your products: You can get more aggressive in your marketing by hawking your products by carrying them to offices, schools, places where there is large gathering of people.
Generally, okirika business is very lucrative no matter the scale you want to start with, big or small. Because, the prices of the goods are not fixed. You cab make over 50% profit on sale of a wear. Even if you are not an experienced sales person, okirika business markets itself, so long as you are consistent and your wears are good.
However, It is very necessary to have a good customer service if you must succeed in this business. This is very important as you will be dealing with a lot of people on a daily basis. So you need to be nice to your customers, listen to their complains and try to solve them better.
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About The Writer : This was written by Jane Okafor Chinyere, content contributor at MyAfribusiness.com. She is a graduate of Industrial Production Engineering and she loves cooking, travelling, dancing, reading and listening to music.
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